Overview

Even if an adult is capable of making decisions, there may be times when they need someone to help make non-financial decisions. This is called supported decision-making.

A supporter’s help is often needed when the adult is:

  • ill
  • has mild disabilities
  • doesn’t speak English well
  • is facing a complex decision

A supporter can be named at the same time a personal directive or will is prepared.

What a supporter does

A supporter helps communicate the adult’s questions, concerns and decisions by talking to their service providers, who could include:

  • doctors
  • pharmacists
  • care centres
  • employers

A supporter has the legal authority to:

  • access the adult’s personal information like medical records
  • help the adult think through decisions

Who can be a supporter

The adult can authorize up to 3 supporters, but their public guardian can’t be one of them.

A supporter:

  • must be over 18 years old
  • must have a trusting relationship with the adult
  • may be a relative or friend of the adult

Name the supporters

Step 1. Identify supporters and their authorities

The adult does the following:

  • identify someone they have a trusting relationship with
    • this includes relatives and friends
  • decide which area each supporter will have authority in, such as healthcare or employment

Step 2. Fill out the form

The adult and each of their supporters must fill out and sign this form:

Supported Decision-Making Authorization (PDF, 1.0 MB)

Step 3. Make copies of the form

The adult keeps the original signed form for their records.

Each supporter keeps a copy of the signed form, so they can show it to the adult’s service providers.

End support

Adult has the capacity to make decisions

The adult can end the support they’re getting from someone at any time by filling out this form:

Termination of Supported Decision-Making Authorization (PDF, 68 KB)

Adult loses the capacity to make decisions

This means the adult’s supported decision-making ends.

If the adult still needs support but isn’t capable, then one of the following happens:

Videos

  • You can give someone authority to access your personal information, and help you make a decision.

Publications

Supported Decision-Making

Contact

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